Workshop on Applications of Innovative Tools and Technologies for Nonproliferation

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Stephen Schwartz of Tableau demonstrates how CNS has used Tableau software

September 25, 2017

On September 8–9, 2017, the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) hosted the International Workshop on Applications of Innovative Tools and Technologies for Nonproliferation. CNS used its unique array of connections to create a forum for nonproliferation researchers and practitioners to connect with leading tech developers from Silicon Valley and elsewhere. The workshop featured a variety of panels focusing on both open-source and proprietary data. Technical topics included the collection, analysis, and visualization of data, while another panel examined the ethical and legal implications of emerging tools and technologies.

As part of a panel on searching for and collecting information, participants described the specialized data collection and filtering needs of international organizations, the challenge of integrating collected data with confidential information, and the slow pace of international organizations in adapting to new tools. Participants also discussed projects examining various methods for the collection and classification of data, such as machine learning and crowdsourcing.

During the panel on ethical, legal, social, and security implications, one speaker noted the role of the public as decision makers and the challenge posed by disinformation. Another speaker discussed the legal obligations of international organizations, highlighting the problems encountered when incorporating new technologies into previously reached international agreements.

Many speakers noted the need for further interaction between the tech and nonproliferation communities. Some of the nonproliferation community’s needs are unique, and pose interesting and novel challenges for tool and technology developers.

The event was held in Monterey, California, with speakers and attendees from a variety of organizations, including the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, the US government, the Nuclear Threat Initiative, the European Commission Joint Research Centre, Planet Labs, Exo Makina, Drumwave, Airbus, Bracket Computing, and Tableau, among others.

The workshop was held with support from the N Square Collaborative.

2017-09-08-International Workshop on Applications of Innovative Tools and Technologies for Nonproliferation

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